Sharareh Taghizadeh Vahed


Needs Analysis, a process that focuses on how an English course addresses the needs of its learners, is an integral part of every ESP/EAP course. Since the emergence of English for Academic Purposes, extensive research has been conducted to specify the needs of university students to English for both educational and research purposes. However, research with a focus on the measurement of English-related needs of university professors and research staff is scarce and even non-existent in Middle-eastern contexts. Considering the fact that writing English papers and books, attending international conferences, and interacting with their colleagues around the world is crucial to the success of university professors, the aim of this paper is to analyze the needs of faculty members from various academic departments at three large universities in a Middle-eastern context. A 25-item questionnaire was completed by 138 university professors, and the findings indicate that there is a significant demand for EAP, and specifically, Academic Writing courses at Engineering and Health departments, whereas the demand is not significant for Humanities and Social Sciences despite the fact that scholars in Humanities and Social Sciences are the most detached from the global academic and research contexts. Therefore, the findings of this paper show that the increasing pressure to publish in English-medium journals has led to an alienation from the international academic platforms, especially in Social Sciences and Humanities where the non-native scholars’ English needs are placing them at a disadvantage in comparison with their native speaker colleagues in other parts of the world. The results also revealed that age was an important indicator of the professors’ English writing competence and their ability to meet the expectations of English-medium journals.

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